Denison Police welcomed patrol officer Brittany Hargrove as the department’s newest member Tuesday, but the freshly-minted officer will soon hit the streets behind the same badge her father wore for nearly 30 years.


Hargrove was sworn in at the department’s headquarters before a room full of colleagues, friends and family members, including her father, former Denison Police Sgt. Calyton Pyles. After 29 years with the department, Pyles retired in February, but returned Tuesday to pin on his daughter’s badge and celebrate her accomplishment.


“It’s really exciting for us to see one generation pass it off to the next,” Lt. Mike Eppler said. “It happens elsewhere, but for a small department like ours to have had two members from the same family join, that’s really special.”


Hargrove graduated from a 22-week police academy in Collin County and will undergo a final, two week-long orientation period with the department before heading out on her first patrol.


“I’m just ready to get going,” Hargrove said. “I was born and raised here, so I love this town and just want to give back to the community.”


Growing up, Hargrove said she heard plenty of her father’s stories from work, but became truly interested in the field after seeing the positive impact his service had on others and the respect it earned him.


“It’s like anywhere we went, somebody knew him,” Hargove said.


With almost three decades of experience under his belt, Pyles said he was confident that his daughter would find success through hard work and by upholding the department’s mission every day.


“I’d tell her to remember the word ‘service’ on her patch,” Pyles said of what advice he’d give his daughter. “That’s what this career is all about. Whether you’re putting a felon behind bars or helping someone change a flat tire, either one is an important service to the community.”


Pyles said while he remains well aware of the risks his daughter will face on patrol, he was proud to see her follow in his footsteps and felt she had chosen to serve a supportive department.


“The dad side of me is worried about her staying safe, of course, but the cop side of me is very proud of her and knows she’ll do a good job,” Pyles said. “And I trust my blue family over there to take good care of her and teach her how to stand on her own.”


Drew Smith is the crime and emergency reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at asmith@heralddemocrat.com or on Twitter @DrewSmithHD.